Special Event Design

Throwback: The Hotel

Patrick Fore from The Woodlands United Methodist in The Woodlands, Texas brings us these awesome backdrops. (originally from April 2012)

A while back Patrick saw some Westcott photo backdrops that he’d been wanting to use for a project for a while. They called these backdrops “modern vintage” and Baroque style velvet pattern. It’s a pattern that creates movement yet drips with elegance and class.

They sold them in 9x12ft sizes standard for photography which worked great for attaching them to 4×11.5ft tv flats. (Plans for Hollywood style flats are easily found online. Or the Backstage Handbook can give you all the instruction you’ll ever need.)

These flats were custom built however to have a 55inch monitor inset in the flat. Patrick knew he wanted to incorporate visual worship and other digital content into the service. The flats were covering a vertical 10-foot stage truss which the 55inch tv was connected to via truss clamps.

The video signal was sent from an iMac running Pro Video Player in a production room by a Mini-DV to HDMI converter to an HDMI splitter where the digital signal was sent to five different monitors in 720p high definition.

Then Patrick ventured out to Garden Ridge and bought a dozen cheap table lamps (no shades) and went online to Overstock.com to find chandeliers to help fill a very large gap between the truss flown over the stage which housed intelligent wash and spot lights. He found these great 8-light chandeliers that matched the look.

He also wanted to connect that vintage lighting feel to the flat above the monitor. A sconce that matched the vintage look worked really well and was light enough to easily attach to the face. He just added a 1×4 to the back and screwed them in right threw the fabric. Overstock had the sconce for a little over $20 so he picked up 5 of them.

For bulbs he bought some Edison style bulbs that cast a beautiful tungsten warm light. He used small 30-watt bulbs for all the lamps and 60-watt bulbs that could be dimmed down for the sconces and the chandeliers.

All the lamps and chandeliers were wired with plugs and connected to dimmers that the lighting guy could dim and save into scenes.

A major piece of the set was a rare find for them. They heard through the grape vine that there was a very old, broken upright piano in a basement of a community center. They made some calls, hitched up a trailer, and picked up a very old and very dusty piano.

Armed with sand paper, blow torches, some red and off-white paint as well as a lot of fabric scraps from the flats, he tried to transform something unusable as it was intended and use it to house a Korg keyboard. They gutted it and modified a shelf for the keyboard. Cool!

Slat by Slat Shaped

5 responses to “Throwback: The Hotel”

  1. John Parmalee says:

    I like it

  2. Jon Morris says:

    Love the piano. I’ve got one I’ve been wanting to gut but didn’t know what I wanted the end product to look like, now I’ve got some ideas.

  3. xtx501206 says:


  4. myrna says:

    The piano idea is amazing. Absolutely love the overall design and the effect you achieved…I can only imagine the setting live!!!

  5. Seth Ulrich says:

    Is the fabric red or is it lit red?
    The website only has that one in Gray

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